Jennifer Monson’s five year dance touring project, Bird Brain, is based on an investigation of the migratory patterns and habits of birds and their biophysical and metaphorical relationship to humans. Employing technological tools including websites, global positioning systems and satellite transmitters, the tours incorporate links among artists, scientific researchers, environmentalists, classrooms, and the general public. Phase I, The Pigeon Project, was completed in early fall of 2000 and premiered at P.S. 122 in New York. In the spring of 2001, Jennifer began Phase II, Bird Brain Tour #1 – Gray Whales. The subsequent phases of the tour, ospreys, geese and ducks, and northern wheateaters, followed in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Jennifer Monson has been pursuing an original approach to experimental dance forms in NYC since 1983 when she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She has created a wide body of work that incorporates collaborative relationships with many artists including Zeena Parkins, DD Dorvillier, Yvonne Meier, and David Zambrano. The Bird Brain: Ducks and Geese Migration received an NPN Community Fund grant for documentation and evaluation. The three Bird Brain Migrations each provided approximately 30 free outdoor performances from Mexico to Canada and from Maine, through Cuba to Venezuela and from Texas to Canada. In Ducks and Geese Migration school children in four cities participated in the educational component and in Bird Brain “Flocking dances.” Monson’s work has been supported by numerous fellowships and grants including from the Guggenheim Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art. She has been a numerous recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship and has been awarded a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for Sender and for sustained achievement in the dance field. Monson is an artist leader for Creative Capital’s professional development workshops.